Man jailed for Post Office robbery loses sentence appeal

Man jailed for Post Office robbery loses sentence appeal

A man jailed for his role in the robbery of a Post Office in which two elderly people were 'terrified' by the use of weapons and threats has lost an appeal against sentence.

Jonathan O'Neill (24), of Cromcastle road, Kilmore, Dublin 5, had pleaded guilty at Trim Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and aggravated burglary at Clonalvy, Co Meath on November 21, 2012.

He was sentenced to six years imprisonment on both counts to run concurrently by Judge Michael O'Shea on November 13, 2014.

O'Neill lost an appeal against the severity of his sentence today with the Court of Appeal holding that all relevant mitigating factors were catered for by the judge.

Giving judgment, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said two men entered Clonalvy Post Office at approximately 9.40am on the morning in question armed with knives.

An elderly post office employee and a lady in her late 80s early 90s were present while the men demanded money from a cash delivery known to have been made earlier that morning.

In the course of exiting the premises they were confronted by a local man and they dropped the money. Their car wouldn't start and they fled on foot, the judge said.

Later, the pair forcibly entered the house of a man by smashing glass of the front door. Again, they were armed with knives and they demanded car keys.

A car was stolen but it crashed some distance away and the men proceeded to make their escape on foot, the judge said.

The post office employee was deeply traumatised, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said. She felt herself unlikely to ever recover from the experience and she had not returned to work.

The occupant of the house, who was a Polish national and had since returned to his native country, was traumatised by what happened.

O'Neill had a long history of drug addiction and a previous conviction for possession of drugs.

Mr Justice Mahon said use of a weapon and threats in “very terrifying” circumstances for two elderly people was particularly serious.

He said the court was satisfied that all relevant mitigating factors were catered for by the sentencing judge.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmigham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, dismissed the appeal.